REALITY CHANGERS transforms lives by providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic support, financial assistance, and leadership training to become college graduates.

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Reality Changers helps youth throughout Southern California achieve the dream of higher education. Our experienced staff and volunteers utilize the “Tightrope Theory” approach to ensure students keep their focus on college. But that’s only half of the story; the other half involves our students’ grit, tenacity, and determination. Without these characteristics, even the strongest institutional backing will not guarantee success.

The Monthly Alumni Spotlight chronicles the obstacles and challenges Reality Changers students face on their journey to a better life – all from a first-hand point of view.

Fast Facts:
Anthony Lee
Reality Changers, Class of 2013
San Diego State University, Class of 2017
Major: Communication

What was the biggest challenge you faced when transitioning from high school classes to college courses?

The biggest challenge as I transitioned from high school classes to college courses was definetely time management. Parents aren’t allowed to see your grades in higher education unless you give it to them, so they aren’t telling you to do your homework. Mom and dad aren’t waking you up in the morning for school. So little things like that was an adjustment. Becoming an adult was one of the biggest parts of college for me.

What was your favorite part about participating in Reality Changers?

My favorite part about participating in Reality Changers is the support system that I had while I was in the program and until this day. Genuine people that are invested in your education and your journey as a first generation college student. It was an incredible experience.

What did you learn at Reality Changers that has been most helpful to you either in college or your career?

Perseverance. Using your story and your failures as your strength. I knew no matter what I had been through I had a certain power within my story. It can truly take you anywhere.

What advice would you give current seniors at Reality Changers about college that you wish you had know before stepping on campus?

As you apply for scholarships, make sure you look into school sponsored scholarships. It sounds crazy, but in my senior year I was caught up in scholarships on a national level, but if you can get into the school you want and sign your letter of intent quickly, colleges has a bunch of scholarships dedicated to incoming freshmen. Make sure you take advantage of those opportunities.

Involvement outside of work or school: 

•  SDSU Resident Advisor (2 years)
•  President – Aztec Music Group (2016-2017)
•  Board of Directors – Associated Students SDSU (2015-2016)
•  Board of Directors – Aztec Shops (2015-2017)
•  Student African American Brotherhood
•  Womyn’s Outreach Association
•  Costa Rica Spanish Immersion Program – 2017

Who inspires you and why?

It sounds cheesy, but everyday people. I’m inspired by the people in San Diego and all around this country. People really show their true character when things get tough, and I feel consistently the people in my life have shown me what being a true hero is.

What is your favorite quote?

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X